Sunday, June 26, 2016

Remember may be Down for Up to 24 Hours Today website is getting a Tech Update today. (See our June 19th blog post.)

That means the site may be down for up to 24 hours. This is scheduled to start at 2 a.m. Eastern Time (12 a.m Mountain Time) on Monday, June 27.

Though no official sources have said so, we suspect it may be possible that some database collections at partner websites, like, that link to the images at may be affected by this outage. Hopefully not, but don't be surprised by an image not found message.

Keep your To-Do List handy to make notes of what you need to look for later, and enjoy some free access time to military records and census at that we mentioned in our June 24th blog post.

Again, let's hope the upgrade goes well. 

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library! 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Free Access to Entire Military Records Collection on FindMyPast June 27 to July 4

Here's something to do on Monday while is down for the day for tech updates.

To commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, FindMyPast is giving free access to ALL Military Records from 4 a.m. Eastern Time, Monday, June 27 to 6:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday, July 4.

This free access includes all UK, Australian, Canadian and United States military records that are in the FindMyPast "Military, Armed Forces and Conflict" category.

AND also included is free access to all UK and Irish census records!

There is a dedicated search page for this free access week. You can reach the free access week page at the website here.

Often the same free access offer appears on the North American site also though sometimes with a different "reason." (We couldn't find a similar announcement for the .com site yet.)

During this free access time period, you will need to sign-in to either your subscription account or free account. If you do not have a free account at Find My Past already, simply create one. (A free account is not the same as a free trial subscription so do not click on the link to sign up for a free trial subscription.) The simplest way to create a free account is to do a search, click to view a result image and the website will ask you to sign into your account or create a free account.

Don't forget that some libraries, such as the local LDS Family History Libraries, have institutional subscriptions to FindMyPast for patron use while in the library. So if you spot something else during this free access offer, there are options to investigate further.

Have fun searching.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

June 27th Tech Update: Website May be Down for Up to 24 Hours

Just in case you did not spot it yet, starting at 2 a.m. Eastern Time (12 a.m Mountain Time) on Monday, June 27,  the website will be undergoing a technical update. The website may be down for up to 24 hours as they run various tests.

So get your FamilySearch research done before then and if you come across something on that Monday add it to your To-Do List for when the site is back up and running again. Let's hope the upgrade goes well.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Family Tree DNA's Autosomal Transfer from AncestryDNA Affected by Recent Change in AncestryDNA's Test Chip

We talk about DNA testing quite a bit at our Let's Talk...Genealogy discussion group. There has been a recent development that you (anyone who has tested or is considering testing) should be aware of in case it applies to you.

One of the things we often mention is that it is possible to save some money on autosomal DNA testing. You do this by testing directly at AncestryDNA (hopefully when there is a sale) and then transfer your DNA test results data to Family Tree DNA by doing an Autosomal Transfer. An Autosomal Transfer is initially free but when unlocked is less than half the price of testing directly with Family Tree DNA yet it still gets your autosomal DNA into two different pools of potential matches.

Autosomal Transfers were possible with the AncestryDNA test chips and the 23andMe version 3 test chips.

Recently, made a change to its AncestryDNA test chip and its file format. This updated version is currently not compatible with the autosomal transfer program at Family Tree DNA. Family Tree DNA is currently working on the problem so that those tested on the updated chip version can be accepted in the future.

What this means is that for the present time ...

If you recently tested at AncestryDNA you will not be able to do an autosomal transfer to Family Tree DNA until Family Tree DNA finds a solution to the problem.

If you had your AncestryDNA results prior to about mid-May 2016 and thus on the AncestryDNA version 1 chip, you are not affected and can still do an autosomal DNA data transfer to Family Tree DNA.

If you received you AncestryDNA results close to that "about mid-May 2016" time frame there is a way to check your test's chip version. 

If you have not already downloaded your test results data, do so by finding the "download raw DNA data" link under each of your test's Settings area. After following the security steps at AncestryDNA, locate the downloaded file on your hard drive. 

Make a copy of the zipped file to work with so you have an untouched compressed zip file which is needed to do an upload at some sites. In that working copy you just made, extract the txt file. Every test's download file has the same name.

Open a word processing program like Word. (Due to the size of txt file Notepad may take a long time or may not be able to open it.) From within the word processing program, use open file locate that working copy of the AncestryDNA.txt file. Open the file or just look at the preview pane after selecting the file.

The third and fourth line in the file explain the test. 
#Data was collected using AncestryDNA array version: v1.0
#Data was formatted using AncestryDNA converter version: v1.0 

If the third line ....
... mentions v1.0 then your test was done using the v1 chip.
... mentions v.2.0 then your test was done using the updated v2 chip.

That is all there is to check which chip version was used for your AncestryDNA test. You can delete the working copy of the zip and txt file. (Just don't delete your "master" untouched zip file of your raw DNA data file.)

Hopefully Family Tree DNA will be able to solve this for those who tested at AncestryDNA about mid-May 2016 and later.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Family Tree DNA Father's Day Sale on Y-DNA Bundles and Y-DNA Test Upgrades

In honor of Father's Day 2016 Family Tree DNA is having a sale on its FamilyFinder + Y-DNA bundles as well as some Y-DNA test Upgrades. The sale runs from June 16 to June 20th  at 11:59 p.m Central Time. Pricing does not include taxes and shipping which may vary by shipping distance.

These are bundled test kits (multiple tests in one) that will allow you to test one man's autosomal DNA (FamilyFinder) and Y-DNA (male Y-DNA sex chromosome). That person tested must be a male.

The Y-DNA bundled tests are:
Family Finder + Y-37 for $218 (regularly $268, save $50)
Family Finder + Y-67 for $288 (regularly $367, save $79)
Family Finder + Y-67 + mtDNAFull for $449 (regularly $566, save $117)

To see any sale pricing on Y-DNA upgrades you must sign into your test kit that already includes a Y-DNA test to see what upgrades are applicable for that test.

If you only want to test someone's autosomal DNA or just the mtDNA or Y-DNA, you will need to wait for another sale or buy the single test at full price. The next usual sale time for Family Tree DNA is in August but what goes on sale varies each year. Remember, when we see a sale on DNA testing we will let you know here.

Here is some additional information for you.

Family Tree DNA tests are done with spit swabs not a spit tube.

Autosomal DNA tests (males or females)
Autosomal DNA is inherited from both parents about equally but randomly. Due to the random nature, siblings my inherit different "pieces." That randomness means you may not get a "piece" of some ancestors. And because of that randomness, it means it is best to test as many family members as possible because you all inherited a different "mix" of autosomal DNA from your ancestors.

An autosomal DNA test will also give you show you the ethnic mixture of what you inherited. Your test matches may match you because you share a common ancestor (Identical By Descent or IBD) or because of coincidence (Identical By State or IBS.)

At Family Tree DNA an autosomal test is called FamilyFinder. (At an autosomal test is called AncestryDNA.)

Y-DNA tests (males only, father's line)
Y-DNA is the sex chromosome that determines a child is male. Y-DNA is passed/inherited directly from father to son. Occasionally a mutation in value (not physical) can occur. This test is often described as being used for paternal ancestry testing and is used for many Surname Study Groups. 

Generally, you only need to test one person for each paternal line. (If you test your Dad you don't need to test the Y-DNA of you or your siblings because you inherited the pretty much the exact same Y-DNA from him that he inherited from his father and he from his etc. (Unless there is question about paternity.) Only males can take an Y-DNA because only they possess Y-DNA. (An X chromosome from Mom and an X from Dad makes a female; an X from Mom and a Y from Dad makes a male.) Females can test a father or brother or any other direct male-to-male relative for the line they seek to test.

The only testing company doing Y-DNA testing for genealogy is Family Tree DNA.

Remember, DNA testing is a tool to help you with your genealogical research it does not replace your research in records.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

MCPL Used Book Sale in Need of Office/Paper Case Boxes with Lids

Boxes with Lids are vital to the organization
of the MCPL Used Book Sale.
ATTENTION, ATTENTION:  We are in need of good/decent condition office/paper case boxes with lids so we can store the donated books after we sort them on the shelves. Last Monday, we used the last box we had.

It does not matter what brand box ... any office/paper case box with a lid will work. We have less shelf space so these boxes are vital to our organization process. They also come in handy for the book sale itself.

Donated boxes can be dropped off at the Information Desk of the Mount Clemens Public Library with a note that the boxes are for the used book sale. 

We thank you for your support.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library! 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Let's Talk...Genealogy topic is Learning Experience: Native American Research

This Wednesday, June 8, at 7 p.m. in the Genealogy/Local History Room of the Mount Clemens Public Library is MCGG's Let's Talk...Genealogy meeting. The discussion topic of the night is Learning Experience: Native American Research.

We will learn and share how to research a new topic by learning how to research Native American ancestry. Many of the same methods will help with learning any "new to you" ancestry research topic. So even if you do not have Native American ancestry you will find this topic useful. 

New attendees are always welcome. 

See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!